WQXR Music Host George Jellinek, 90, Dies

Monday, January 18, 2010

Former WQXR music director George Jellinek, best-known for hosting WQXR's The Vocal Scene, has died. He was 90 years old.

Jellinek created The Vocal Scene program in 1969, a year after he became WQXR’s music director. The weekly, one-hour show was devoted to opera and great opera singers. The show continued for 36 years, and was syndicated on classical stations around the country.

Jellinek retired as Music Director in 1984, but remained a consultant with WQXR until just a few years ago. His voice was also familiar to listeners of the Metropolitan Opera International Radio Broadcast series, where he was a panelist and contributor to intermission programs.

Tune in to WQXR Saturday, January 23 between 10AM and 1PM to hear excerpts from The Vocal Scene archives.

Click below to listen to WQXR's Bob Sherman's thoughts on Jellinek. Private funeral services are taking place for Jellinek this week, but a larger memorial will be held at a later date.


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Comments [144]


I do sincerely hope that you will release the Vocal Scene programs in a format that we can stream or purchase. What a treasure that should not disappear!!!

Oct. 07 2011 11:59 AM


We are rebroadcasting some of The Vocal Scene: http://www.wqxr.org/programs/best-vocal-scene/about/

Jun. 08 2010 04:37 PM
Bea C from Palo Alto, CA

Thanks for repeating those wonderful GJ programs. I hope you will broadcast more of those. I would love to hear the Gilbert & Sullivan one again.

Jun. 05 2010 08:02 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

I have just heard the first retrospective tribute to George Jellinek, one of over 1800 that genial, well-informed and intentioned George bestowed on his admiring fans. IF ONLY WQXR WOULD CONSIDER BROADCASTING ALL 1800, their listeners would be most grateful!!

Jun. 05 2010 02:47 PM
Rick from Maplewood, New Jersey

For awhile, The Vocal Scene was on XM Radio's Vox station. Even there, where one would think it would have found its perfect appreciative audience, it disappeared after a couple of years. Of course, XM Radio has its own set of problems, and now Vox is the Met Opera Radio station, again, an seemingly ideal place to listen to the wonderful Mr. Jellinek. That the program didn't last on Vox only shows what so many people here have already expressed--there is a dearth of the kind of quality educational broadcasting that Mr. Jellinek personified. I hope that someone who knows about digital broadcasting can find a way of helping the Jellinek family get these invaluable programs online.

Apr. 16 2010 07:35 PM
Mark Goldstein from Brooklyn, New York

How times have changed.

The passing of George Jellinek - the host of 'The Vocal Scene' -who was not just an announcer but a educator, whose enthusiasm and love for the operatic arts was contagious, marks the end of an era for WQXR and perhaps without too much exageration, radio.

Its sad that WQXR's contemporary audience will not be able to experience what made this the flagship classical music station in the United States.

Its depressing that we have to listen somewhat banal announcers imploring us to "preserve classical music in New york City", the city inhabited by some of the wealthiest 'cultured' people on earth.

I grew up in the projects. I'm fifty-three. I'm a 'blue collar' laborer, but I know quality when I hear it and I ain't heard much lately.

I mourn the passing of Mr. Jellinek and of everything else that made this a once great city.

Apr. 10 2010 05:24 PM

George was exceptional I only know him through vocal scene learn't a lot about opera and voice,he is missed by a lot of listeners,when are you going to broadcast vocal scene again in full?

Feb. 07 2010 11:15 AM
Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

Being reminded of George Jellinek and "The Vocal Scene" also reminds me of how diminished WQXR has become, and had become long before it was sold off to the wretched end of the dial where it now holds forth, however faintly. George Jellinek's programming and his inexhaustible knowledge of singers and the vocal repertoire can not likely be duplicated, but even more sad is the fact that the station in its current abased form would never even contemplate trying to do so. One of my favorite types of show that he would do was the comparison of 5 or 6 singers doing the same aria. Of course, the chronological range that his program covered was virtually the entire history of recorded vocal music, which is also not the case now. How likely are we to hear Fritz Wunderlich (a Jellinek favorite) these days?

Feb. 02 2010 03:52 PM
ellen from NYC

Mr. Jellinek's NYU classes in opera taught me alot, as a newcomer to opera, and once after class we stood in 20 degree weather as he answered a question about Mozart opera that I was just starting to know. Also he came to speak at our young professional's opera group at City Opera, and was most gracious and informative in his talk. I taped many of his shows. Another writer here mentioned pavel lesistsian---he was also for me, one of the great singers I learned about from the vocal scence---and Milanov, Pinza, Bjorling, and many more that I'd never hear if not for the Vocal Scene. WQXR---do you not rebroadcast the programs because coprorate sponsors think people won't like it? Well, how do you create an audience to appreciate anything, if you follow such assumptions without evidence? You create taste, instead of racing to the lower common denominator.How was taste created in when the vocal scene, and First Hearing started? No one clammored for them. They set new standards in quality, and people FOLLOWED it! Your 15 minute tributes to George were a real travesty. You should be ashamed. Who is setting this policy? REBROADCAST ONCE A WEEK ALL THE SHOWS. And First Hearing too. Thanks.

Jan. 25 2010 12:45 PM
Sandra Schwadron

Mrs Jellinek and Nancy, you have the my very deepest sympathy on your loss.

"The Vocal Scene" was not just an opera program - it also covered song and sacred music. I became a huge fan of that great trio of Berliners - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hermann Prey, and Christa Ludwig. Prey was a particular favorite. I just looked forward to Thursday nights(and Sunday afternoons).
I also enjoyed his articles in Opera News .

Jan. 25 2010 11:59 AM
linda from NYC

George Jellinek:
It brought tears to my eyes listening to George Jellinek's gentle voice again this past Saturday. My family and I never wanted The Vocal Scene to end. He had such amazing insights and such a special way of putting them across.

I hope that you will work on more tributes by playing entire programs.

Jan. 24 2010 10:14 PM
Martin I Schwartz from Long Island

What a great legacy this gentleman has left us. The comments affirm that he transcended the media and reached so many grateful people personally. He was, and remains, sui generis, and we are thankful for the wonderful way that he affected us all. Maybe commercial considerations make vocal presentations skimpy and infrequent - but the memory of Mr. Jellinek, his love and appreciation of this art form will remain in our hearts and minds. To what greater honor can a human being aspire ?

Jan. 24 2010 04:17 PM
Nancy Valentine

George Jellineks passing is like loosing a member of the family. I will cherish the many wonderful hours of listening to Vocal Scene.

Jan. 24 2010 09:20 AM
Rae Barlow from blogs

When Mr. Jellinek ended his wonderful "The Vocal Scene," a very special part of my life ended. He was my teacher. I never missed his program -- unless I was at the opera. Now that bright, shining light has taken his final bow.

Today I listened to the excerpts from his programs. I wish WQXR would rebroadcast these programs. I would be so happy to hear that beloved voice and his erudite commentary again. His programs can be revisited again and again like a favorite book.

Jan. 23 2010 09:04 PM
Jim from NY

I am so saddened to hear of the passing of George Jellinek. Mr. Jellinek's program was as classy and informative as any could be, and I grew so much as an opera lover while listening to it. I remember how disappointed I was when it went off the air. Apart from the Saturday afternoon broadcasts themselves, I cannot imagine that any program has done more to promote opera in all its glory than The Vocal Scene, and I add my voice to all the rest who are calling on WQXR to rebroadcast it. It is a treasure trove of insight from one of the opera world's most informed and articulate spokesmen, and I am sure it will find a large and grateful audience.

Jan. 23 2010 07:28 PM
Joe Pearce from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Further to my comments occasioned by the unhappy passing of George Jellinek and your tribute to him this morning: I know that, except for the Met Opera broadcasts, vocal music is not a priority at WQXR and hasn't been for quite a while. However, as I and so many others have suggested that WQXR re-broadcast Mr. Jellinek's Vocal Scene programs, it occurs to me that the ABSOLUTE IDEAL TIME to do so would be in conjunction with the usual Saturday Met broadcasts and those other opera broadcasts that take place prior to or after the Met season on the same day and in the same time slot. (The programs now broadcast prior to and after the opera are almost never vocal in nature and are fairly indistinguishable from those presented during your other 164 or so hours on the air every week, so there would seem to be no particular purpose for them in that time slot except to fill up an hour!) You will already have an opera-oriented audience tuning in on those days, and I can't imagine that the vast majority of those listeners wouldn't tune in an hour earlier or remain an hour later to hear a program the likes of which they can hear nowhere else. What a tribute to George Jellinek that would be! And what a service to your listeners. It really is worth thinking about.

Jan. 23 2010 04:39 PM

I just finished listening to today's tribute to George Jellinek (I also recorded it for future enjoyment) I'm only sorry I didn't record any of his earlier broadcasts. I agree with those above who requested that WQXR give serious consideration to airing his vocal scene on a continuing basis.

Jan. 23 2010 02:20 PM
Gabrielle(Gaby) from NYC

The passing of George is the gratest loss of the family of classical music lovers for the last few decades. Reading the previous e-mails made me realize that, thanks to him, many of the then youngsters became ardent classical (not just opera) music lovers/fans. Since tapes of his programs exist why not have a regular weekly re-broadcast. It would be a great tribute to him and, perhaps, would intrigue and "convert" people to our world.
I have known George and his family for many years and always enjoyed the witty conversation. My sincere condolances to Hedy and Nancy.

Jan. 23 2010 02:13 PM
Michael Alexander

Thursday evenings - and radio listening in general - have never been the same since Mr. Jellinek's retirement. His passing is so sad but also an occasion to celebrate and remember this unique, erudite, and gentle man. Every program was a lesson and a joy to hear. Not only did he know his subject matter backwards & forwards, but he was able to pass on his insights with unfailing warmth and charm. It is my sincere hope that WQXR will recognize the treasure trove that it possesses and find a way to bring these broadcasts back. There is (and has not been) anything approaching the Vocal Scene since he left radio and there is most definitely an audience for it. In the meantime, all I can say is: rest in peace, dear Mr. Jellinek. And may your family know how greatly loved you were.

Jan. 23 2010 01:12 PM
Zach Blovovian from Conn.

Hey, Boghosian, don't bogart the board.

Jan. 23 2010 01:11 PM
Zarmine Boghosian from Oakland Gardens, NY

I listened to George Jellinek almost religiously!
Thank you for celebrating his life by replaying the segments from him.
His voice reminds us that individuals like him NEVER die!
He knew so much and he shared and taught his listeners so much!
One of his programs was dedicated to Armenian prominent singer Maestro Pavel–Bavel Lisitsian (Soviet Era School )
I was so impressed that I wrote to him and was honored by his response in writing back to me!
I cherish that letter highly
If it’s possible would you please play that segment again?
My sister-in-law a vocalist was trained under Lisitsian tutelage.

God bless his memory.
Thank you WQXR for replaying George Jellinek
He will be missed dearly.
I will cherish every moment of those programs.
(Mrs.) Zarminé Boghosian

Jan. 23 2010 01:01 PM
Robert from NYC

I listened as often as possible to George Jellinek's The Vocal Scene for far too few years. I still miss his show and guess I always will.

Clearly, QXR needs to do more than air just a few snippets of The Vocal Scene if it wants to give the great Jellinek the tribute he deserves.

And when you're done with that, I bet you'd have more than a handful of buyers for a beautifully produced box set of his greatest shows. I'd be more than happy to help sort through the material to help put it together.

Jan. 23 2010 12:59 PM

I am livid! Playing 15 minutes out of every hour does not a tribute make!! Why not set aside an hour or two of nothing but Jellinek. The way you are "honoring" this
wonderful man is very poor. If your programers had half a brain, they would do re-runs of his shows all the time. You will not find a man of his talents anytime soon.

Jan. 23 2010 12:32 PM
Zarmine Boghosian from Bayside, New York

I listened to George Jellinek almost religiously!
Thank you for celebrating his life by replaying the segments from his programs.
His voice reminds us that individuals like him NEVER die!
He knew so much and he shared and taught his listeners so much!
One of his programs was dedicated to Armenian prominent singer Maestro Pavel–Bavel Lisitsian (Soviet Era School )
I was so impressed that I wrote to him and was honored by his response in writing back to me!
I cherish that letter highly
If it’s possible would you please play that segment again?
My sister-in-law (Anahid Boghosian) a vocalist was trained under Lisitsian tutelage.

God bless his memory.
I will cherish every moment of those programs.
(Mrs.) Zarminé Boghosian

Jan. 23 2010 12:18 PM
Sidney Goldman from Baldwin, NY

What we have here are truly historical recordings of those who recorded in the early days of Puccini's Tosca. Some of these recordings are new to me.

When George chooses the rest of the arias in the opera, I hope he decided to include my favorite Italian bel canto Ferruccio Tagliavini. George did devote two of his programs in discussing Ferruccio Tagliavini's voice.

I have yet to hear any of the tenors coming up to approach Ferruccio. They, I believe, are too strong with volume and interpretation.

Jan. 23 2010 12:16 PM
Robert Hordos from Jericho, NY

George Jellinek's expertise on opera and the voice was a true educational experience. I looked forward to coming home from meetings and tuning in WQXR to catch his show. I must say that much of my knowledge about opera and opera singers come from Mr. Jellinek. Thank you for enriching my life as well as countless others.

Jan. 23 2010 11:34 AM
Nancy Wilken from Princeton

I realize difficulty of programming at such short notice but repeats being heard this morning have no central theme at least not to now (two, one to go). Either have a good complete one, e.g., Christa Ludwig or Jose van Dam, etc., as George vignettes give no flavor of the Vocal Scene or its founder. (sigh) Guess the listener will have to accept what's being offered as a "tribute". Could you not enlist the advice of his excellent sound engineer for a package available for sale that might help constant fundraising efforts or would that violate protective copyrights probably held from The New York Times, his employer for so many years (I know my late husband's writings are held by his former employer and are for sale on the Internet), not part of his Estate (always complicated). George must have seen this coming and provided for his wife, Hedy, and his Nancy and grandchild, and great grand daughter of whom he was so proud!).

Jan. 23 2010 11:24 AM

Why not either rebroadcast the full shows on a scheduled basis, offer a subscription on demand, or offer the shows on CD for a good donation to the station? The Vocal Scene was one of the finest shows ever broadcast by WQXR.

Jan. 23 2010 11:10 AM
elaine from bronx

I wish we could have had Jellinek all morning or all day today-a future programing hopefully??He certainly deserves more than a few snippets,please!!

Jan. 23 2010 11:09 AM












Jan. 23 2010 11:07 AM
beth from stamford,ct

Jeff- Why are aren't you re-broadcasting longer clips or entire programs this morning? What's with the snippets from the Vocal Scene? The rest of the music isn't even vocal. This is not a worthy tribute to such an influential and honorable man.
WXQR is, sadly, a mere shadow of its former great self when it can't even mount a proper memorial program George Jellinek.

Jan. 23 2010 10:51 AM
Pauline Park from Jackson Heights

I'm so sad to hear of the death of George Jellinek. I listened religiously to the The Vocal Scene, which was a rich source of information and insight about opera and vocal music.

There was something very charmingly central European about George Jellinek in his manner of speaking and style of presentation and his 'Vocal Scene' broadcasts were like little bits of aural 'Mitteleuropa.'

I hope WQXR will consider re-broadcasting some of his Vocal Scene programs from time to time or putting up a page on the WQXR site with podcasts of his shows. It would be a tremendous resource to have those programs available in a publicly accessible archive on-line.

Jan. 23 2010 10:49 AM
beth from stamford,ct

why are aren't you re-broadcasting longer clips or entire vocal shows this am? What's with the snippets? Not a great tribute to such an influential and honorable man.

Jan. 23 2010 10:37 AM
Joseph Streisfeld from New York, NY

I am a pianist and in the course of my musical experiences, I have played for many vocalists. A great deal of my knowledge of vocal music was obtained from George Jellinek's "The Vocal Scene". What a wealth of interesting material!!!! It would be great if these programs could be revived in some manner.

Jan. 23 2010 10:32 AM

I echo the many previous comments in clamoring for reruns of George Jellinek's programs--I was an avid listener of The Vocal Scene, and later, the reruns under the name of Vocal Gold. Please know that these programs are not only interesting for the general music lover, but an invaluable source of information, full of thoughtful observations for the classical music singer whose repertoire was presented!

He was essential listening for me as an art song and operatic singer.
Wouldn't it be great if someone followed in his footsteps and carried on the format and tradition (and spirit) of these broadcasts...

Diane K.

Jan. 23 2010 06:24 AM
steve lerit from morristown, nj

George taught me how to discriminate among voices in his own unmatched style. He was a master at pointing out the subtle differences that made some singers true communicators and others just good singers. George was like a very welcome visitor in my home every Thursday at 10pm. I will greatly miss him. I am sure he has joined forces in heaven with the wonderful singers he discussed in his programs.

Jan. 22 2010 08:59 PM
Amy Martin

Please rebroadcast the shows. I remember a few interviews with Tito Gobbi, a 1928 Ezio Pinz singing O Tu Palermo....and Jussi Bjoerling. I hope the tribute includes these and many more. George Jellinek was great! and funny!

Jan. 22 2010 12:44 PM
Alison Ames

many of us lucky enough to have heard Mr. Jellinek's "Vocal Scene" and "First Hearing", his live program pitting record reviewers (remember them?) against new releases, learned a lot about music FOR FREE! His memoir of life in Budapest, Havana, the US Army, and here with his brilliant wife, Hedy, is a must-read. So is his illuminating and entertaining "History through the Opera Glass".

What a world has been lost through his death. Please ensure that his programs can be heard as podcasts or archivally on this site.

Thanks for everything, gentle George Jellinek.

Jan. 22 2010 11:10 AM
Hadassah Epstein from Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Nothing as yet replaced for me The Vocal Scene.
George Jellinek's vast knowledge and his way of sharing it was precious and unique.
Please rerun all or some of his programs. It will be the best tribute for his memory.

Jan. 21 2010 07:07 PM
Daniel Jacobson from New York

In an age of shrill hyperbole and self-promotion, Mr. Jellinek's voice was a window to another world, perhaps one that never existed, but a world I would like to think of as an ideal: a world of self-effacing erudition and good manners, of courtly persuasion and calm reflection, where long-lost voices were summoned back to the present to stir listeners once more. I missed that voice when he went off the air a few years ago, and now with his passing I miss it even more. Ave atque vale, gentle soul.

Jan. 21 2010 05:30 PM
Susan Stockwell Yates from Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

I arrived in New York in 1964, checked into my little SRO hotel, and turned on my transister radio and found WQXR and George Jellinek, From that day until his last "Vocal Scene," I listened to him whenever possible. His knowledge was encyclopedic, and while occasionally an acerbic comment might pop out, his warm and caring voice soothed and informed. I called the station one day in 1997 to ask a question about a Bjoerling bio he'd been discussing. When I asked to speak with "someone in George Jellinek's office," there was a "click" and a voice barked: "Jellinek." The Great Man himself! I was so flustered my question had to struggle to come out. He was gentle and kind and wished me well. I've missed him ever since he retired, and now will miss him more.
This would be a great time to start playing reruns of "The Vocal Scene."

Jan. 21 2010 04:15 PM
Mr. Donato Pavia from Woodside, New York

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jellinek, I am certain he was a true gentleman; for it was clearly evident in his warm and gentle voice. Also, shining through were his sincerity and passion for music.
I remember the times I was alone on the road driving and listening to his afternoon show in the late 1970s; he made me feel he was my companion, sitting beside me sharing his vast knowledge of the wonderful world of classical music. He was so riveting that it was difficult to tear myself away and do my job.
He brought an old-world charm to radio: a quality that is sadly lacking in today's world of mediocrity and a cookie-cutter mentality! Indeed, he was the Maurice Chevalier and/or Vittorio DeSica of radio announcers; I will miss him as much as I would a dear firend.
The greatest tribute WQXR can give him is to re-broadcast--especially if aired on the same day and hour--all 1878 programs of the Vocal Scene. These hours were the finest in his long broadcasting career and the best show ever to air on WQXR since I began tuning in. If this is not possible, make the tapes available to another radio station such as WKCR which airs an opera program on Saturdays at 9 p.m. I believe that station would welcome them and thus give Mr. Jellinek's fans as well as newcomers the opportunity to hear the master teacher. My heartfelt condolences to his family.

Jan. 21 2010 12:44 PM
Simona McCray from Brooklyn, NY

George, The Vocal Scene and other programs, such as Italy in Music, were an important part of my life at WQXR. As director of sales, I made sure that those programs were always sponsored so that they were not in jeopardy. George was, of course, wonderful to work with. His quiet warmth, vitality, and humor imbued all his relationships and everything he did.

Jan. 21 2010 11:44 AM
Dimitra Gebhard

George Jellinek was part of my life - His lovely voice is still in my mind. As a radio fan I felt like I knew him. What a special person, but his memory will live on.

Jan. 21 2010 11:02 AM
Wende Persons

I was lucky to have met George Jellinek first through his syndicated show when I was a listener in Pittsburgh and then much later as a colleague at WQXR. What a privilege! One of my favorite "Vocal Scene" programs was the hour of "Habaneras" from one Carmen after another, illuminated by George's quietly brilliant commentary.

Jan. 21 2010 09:45 AM
Jerry/Bette Unger from Long Island

Was sad to hear about George's passing as my wife and I had the pleasure of having dinner one night at June LeBell apt. as part of the NY Phil's raffles many years ago at the Xmas holiday.

The food was great except that it was extremely rich and filled with cream.George turns to my wife Bette and said,"for someone on Lipitor she's trying to kill me". It was a great evening and we will remember George and his wife fondly.

Jan. 21 2010 09:24 AM
Francisca Sabadie from Scarsdale, New York

i have been reluctant to write because nothing i can say comes close to the joy and happiness listening to George brought me for many years,not to mention the learning experience. If i could write music, i would compose him a tribute and am very glad that you are doing so tomorrow.
Thanks for that.

Jan. 21 2010 08:08 AM
David Chowes from New York City

What comes to mind is that in this speeded up society with a qulite low attention span -- young people no longer listen much to classical music, opera...

A pop song which lasts about four minutes can be played -- and, immediately you know if you like it or not.

To understand the magic of classical music and -- the finest opus of them all -- opera, one has to be emersed in the genre.

That, I believe has led to a widespread loss of almost all commercial classical stations. Thank God that WNYC.org has taken over WQXR.

From a day when the ABC Radio Network as well as CBS Radio and WOR played the Saturday MetOpera broadcasts; and, radio networks carried many philharmonic concerts each week -- including the New York Philarmonic...

Many cities have no classical musicstations of any kind -- period! Thank God for NPR and PBS.

I will always remember George Jellinek, Jacques Frey, Nimet and all who made WQXR special.

Jan. 21 2010 07:35 AM
Michael Benchetrit from New York City

I am saddened by the news of Mr. Jellinek's passing. What always amazed me about him was just how insightful he was about someone as complex as Maria Callas in his biography of her "Portrait of a Prima Donna", especially considering he wrote it while her career was still in full swing...
His interviews of singers for the George London Foundation events at the Morgan Library were also favorite moments of my musical life in New York City. May he be at peace now and know just how grateful we are for what he shared with us.

Jan. 20 2010 11:59 PM
Roberta Prada from New York City

I met George Jellienek on two occasions, once over the bins at Patelson's, where he was doing what everyone did there. The second time was at the Jussi Bjorling Society's New York meeting. He was a lovely presence in person and remarkable on air. I must thank him for introducing me to opera and for teaching me an approach to the music and the drama, as well as to the great singers. His passion was contagious, his erudition inspiring.

Jan. 20 2010 10:30 PM
Clayelle from New York City

He was an endless, reliable source of information for writers, musicians -- and radio announcers. To say he was invaluable is an understatement. Thank you again, George.

Jan. 20 2010 08:38 PM
Jason Raphael from NYC

Picking up on the comment about the Times's tardy and uninformed obituary, the consistent trend in that section seems to be to promptly provide in-depth accounts of the passing of rock musicians and captains of the fast food industry.

Similarly, in its final throes, the former WQXR became, with its strident hawking of skin creams and refusal to identify late-night selections on-air, the crass antithesis of everything that Mr. Jellenek stood for: truth, beauty and letting the listener decide what she liked best, after expert guidance.

Sunt lacrimae rerum.

Jan. 20 2010 08:17 PM
Sidney Goldman from Baldwin, NY

You have helped me do more reseach about the life of George Jellinek. Just a few minuted ago, I have placed nine short cuts on my computer, with information from various sources, including archival material from The New York Times.

This tells me that by clicking on blue words and typing in requests on your computer will often bring you lots of good information. In this case for me was learning more about George Jellinek.

Jan. 20 2010 07:24 PM
Thomas Kwong from NY

We at Thomas' coffee and tea have been so fortunate to have served Mr. Jellinek his favorite coffee for the last 17 years. He is an institution at Thomas' and his spirit will be with us forever. Rest in peace , our dear friend.

Jan. 20 2010 07:12 PM
Martha Wagner from New York, NY 10065

George Jellinek was a dear friend and colleague of
my husband's. (Alan Wagner d. 12/18/07- WNYC AM-FM "Living Opera" -1958-1968). Opera was
their passion, if not their living. May they enjoy
all their favorites together, forever.

Martha D. (Marti) Wagner 1/20/10

Jan. 20 2010 05:22 PM
Agostino Cinardo from New York

What a wonderful human being! I listened to his "Vocal Scene" for many years, taped quite a few of them, which I play occasionally, especially the final broadcast. We sincerely hope that these programs will be considered for re-broadcasting again on a regular basis. I share some of his 'most' favorite singers and operas with him like Victoria de los Angeles and Verdi's Don Carlo, and many other likes- too many to list here. Together with my family, we heard him on the Quiz panel of the Saturday afternoon broadcasts and he was always an informative, gracious and charming panelist. We also read many of his critical reviews in "Opera News" magazine. I am hugely disappointed that the obituary in the NYT was so late and so brief- there is no accounting for what is considered important anymore in our uncultured era. Our sincere condolences to his family... he enriched our life for so many years and will never be forgotten by us!!

Jan. 20 2010 05:20 PM
William from Westchester County, N.Y.

As a long time listener to WQXR - since junior high school - I have had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Jellinek's programs as well as to WQXR when he programmed it. He was an integral part of my music education and growing up and I mourn his passing. We in the larger WQXR community are richer for having had him as our station director and now we are poorer for his passing. R.I.P.

Jan. 20 2010 04:02 PM
Jale Turcihin from Roosevelt Island, NY

Mr. Jellinek also had a program on the morning of the start of a Jewish holiday - vocal music with Jewish themes or particular to the special holiday. I would listen to him, loving every minute of it, while cooking my Sephardic dishes. My condolences to his family.

Jan. 20 2010 02:20 PM
norman krasne from Camas, WA

George Jellinek was most responsible for my becoming an opera/vocal music lover. His Vocal Scene on WQXR was a must every Thursday night. One of my fondest memories was meeting Mr. Jellinek at a George London Foundation event in NY a few years after having moved to the Portland, OR area from NY...and telling him just that. I noted that I had tried, without success, to get the Portland classical music station pick up his show.

Jan. 20 2010 12:36 PM
12-String Frank from Staten Island, NY

Sad to hear of the passing of George Jellinek, but this is what happens when a radio voice which you have grown up with is gone. I remember the passing of Karl Haas who also had a unique radio voice on WQXR. And just now, for sports fans, Art Rust, Jr has died.

George lived a long full life and dedicated it to opera. I hope someone with his enthusiasm follow him, but no replace. You heard George's voice and right away you felt like you were in a 19th century opera house watching the greats.

I heard George's last broadcast and didn't want him to go. But take heart in knowing that WQXR has all of George's shows on recording. We CAN hear George again!

Jan. 20 2010 11:28 AM
Bert Zackim from New York City

We never met, a personal loss none the less. Condolences to all his listeners, his fans.

Jan. 20 2010 10:55 AM
alice Brown from Carmel, New York

Listening to George Jellinek made me proud to be an American of Hungarian extraction. He will be missed. I too would love to hear some of his archival programs.

Jan. 20 2010 09:52 AM
Gigi Yellen from Seattle

This news feels like a loss in the family: mentor, audio friend, gentle uncle. (I always wondered whether his last name and mine might have been connected generations ago; I loved to imagine that he might be really family.) The Vocal Scene aired during my shift as evening host on the old KLEF in Houston in the 70s, so I listened and learned, charmed by Mr. Jellinek's beautiful hours. What a thrill to meet him just for a moment in 1976. May this good soul continue to inspire us.

Jan. 20 2010 05:41 AM
Harry Tannenbaum

The Vocal Scene was the most welcome program we listened to on WQXR.We learned so much from George Jellinek about the great artists of the past and present. We're glad that we had the foresight to tape about 150 hours of his progams so that we continue to enjoy them

Jan. 19 2010 06:06 PM
June LeBell from Sarasota, Florida

Bob Sherman and Jeff Spurgeon are right in everything they've said. A Gentleman, first and foremost, George was an inspiration, a sweet, kind, generous colleague and the kindest, best mentor I could have had. I had the honor of sharing an office with him for many years at WQXR and, while we had many laughs together, I was always learning from him. One of his dearest contributions to me along the way was his suggestion that, for a bagel recipe on my Kitchen Classics program, he came up with, "Play a Beethoven Bagel-telle!"
Cheerful, helpful, funny in an understated way, George was simply wonderful.
His "Vocal Scene" was aired during my shift, so I rarely missed a word or note. It taught me more than I can say about music, singing, opera and broadcasting.
I'm missing him.

Jan. 19 2010 04:35 PM
James Lamb from Staten Island, NY

Thanks to Mr. Jellinek I heard many singers for the first time. Zara Dolukhanova and Pavel Lisitsian for example. I also learned many operas from his programs. Thursday nights were almost religious in our house. His name was a household word. George and I shared something. Our favorite singer was Victoria de los Angeles. Thank you so much Mr. Jellinek. May you rest in peace.

Jan. 19 2010 03:37 PM
Michael Meltzer

George Jelinek was a model for classical music broadcasters and, hopefully, established a broadcasting tradition that someone will continue. He was already sorely missed from the time of his retirement and is more than deserving of the kudos, testimonials and remembrances that appear here
Since WQXR/NYC is the conduit for all these thoughts, before the station takes any credit or honor for the association, it is well to remember that Mr. Jelinek did his great work with the old WQXR. It is a fair question to pose, that if George Jelinek were still on the air at the time of the transfer of ownership, whether the new station would not have unceremoniously cut him from the roster along with David Dubal, doing parallel work in a parallel and equally important repertoire?

Jan. 19 2010 03:24 PM
Roland S. Pianotti

What a wonderful man and what a wonderful experience it was to listen to his Vocal Scene broadcasts. RIP George.

Jan. 19 2010 03:16 PM
Luis A. Colon from New York City

I feel as if I have lost a dear and beloved old friend. I have been listening to WQXR since I came back to NYC in 1970 after several years in the Navy. George Jellinek
was among my favorite hosts, as he always explained things so thoroughly. His voice had a gentle and aristocratic ring to it and somehow I just knew that he was a kind and gentle man. Rest In Peace
Mr.Jellinek. Heaven will be more musical now with your presence.

Jan. 19 2010 02:39 PM
Barbara Lang

Back in the 70's, I began listening to George Jellinek's Vocal Scene. He did for me what he did for so many others: gave me a deep appreciation of voice and made me an opera fan. As a result I've had so many years of joy attending operas and listening to good singers. I once wrote to George, thanking him for what he had given me and he was gracious enough to write back; I still have his letter. How fortunate all of us have been to learn from him.

Jan. 19 2010 12:54 PM
Cy Cirino from Jersey City

I was very sorry to hear of his passing. I loved his show and listened faithfully. His knowledge, insights and anecdotes on opera were amazing. He will be missed.

Jan. 19 2010 12:51 PM
David Kernahan from NYC

I listened to "The Vocal Scene" whenever possible for many years. The enthusiasm in his voice and the information he imparted were unique and informative. He made my love of opera and vocal music even richer. He was missed on the air and will be missed now even more.
My heartfelt sympathy to his wife and family.
I am really surprised that there is not an obituary for him in the NY Times.

Jan. 19 2010 12:26 PM
Miss Teresa Pavia from Queens, New York

The best tribute to George Jellinek would be to rebroadcast the Vocal Scene so that we who loved the show and its host will be able to experience quality programming again and relearn again as well. Also, people who never heard him will be able to learn. The young generations need to learn what he had to offer. They will be able to learn about the history of vocal music in general and a lot from Mr. Jellinek's good musical taste and viewpoints. Air the Vocal Scene again in its entirety--from the very first day to the very last. Doing so will be a great public service and will improve WQXR's programming tremendously.

Jan. 19 2010 12:25 PM
Fred Jacobs from bayside ny

George Jellinek gave me opera, and much of classical music. I recorded vocal scene shows for years on cassettes & replayed them frequently. I even took a couple of classes with him, & had the opportunity to talk with him a few times. I remember watching Mr. Jellinek when he would play a record--to watch how he listened. I can say that one thing Bob Sherman said is a little off--his comment that everything Mr. Jellinek said always rang true. I remember hearing him say on the air something like "Anyone who doesn't like Aida I wouldn't want as a friend." That made me smile but I've always remembered it because I didn't believe it for a minute. Perhaps not a close friend--but hostility was not in his world view. I loved the Vocal Scene & loved George Jellinek because of love--his love of music, which he transmitted so clearly, & his love of the human voice was above all a love of humanity.

Jan. 19 2010 12:05 PM
Laura H.

So sorry to hear this news -- The Vocal Scene was, in my opinion, the best show that WQXR ever aired. Safe passage, Mr. Jellinek.

Jan. 19 2010 11:11 AM
Alan and Vivian Lawsky from Pittsburgh, PA

We extend condolences to the Jellinek family. We were devoted listeners to the Vocal Scene for many, many years. Mr. Jellinek was one of a kind, with his unique charm, extensive knowledge and wonderful collection of recordings. He accompanied us on so many road trips (through our tapes of his program) and delighted us with his wit and knowledge. Hope someone will consider making a CD set of his programs so the next generation can get to know him.

Jan. 19 2010 10:16 AM
Neal Rauch from Brooklyn

This would be a great time for WQXR to consider rebroadcasting as many tapes of "The Vocal Scene" that still exist!

Jan. 19 2010 10:13 AM
Joseph Pace from New York City

As an opera lover, one could not ask for a more refeshing experience then listening to George Jellinick 's interviews and comments on radio. He will always be admired and loved for his insights,character and enthusiasm!

Jan. 19 2010 09:46 AM
david wood from Hastings

For years I listened to George Jellinek's Vocal Scene. From tangos, to lullabies, to Jussi Bjoerling, each show was a gem. It was a real loss when the show ended and now we have lost him too. If the shows were put into a collection, I am sure many would want to purchase them. I have some on tapes and replay them now.

Jan. 19 2010 09:45 AM
Bob Schiffmann from New York City

I rarely missed "The Vocal Scene" in its 30+ years. I have been an opera-nut since childhood and George Jellinek's program fulfilled my dreams with all the wonderful singers and singing. Outstanding was his program combining the playing of Fritz Kreisler with the singing of Richard Tauber - I have a tape of that program and listen to it often. George - you were missed from the day The Vocal Scene ended, but we always hoped you would bring it back. Rest in peace.

Jan. 19 2010 08:53 AM
Frederick Stanley

Mr. Jellinek had many memorable programs over the years but the 2 that were most influential for me were one where he showcased Jusi Bjorling, I had never heard such a marvelous tenor voice, and another where he compared various performances of Messiah, Rejoice O Daughters of Zion in Jig time, Marvelous.

Jan. 19 2010 07:10 AM
Linda Sammarone from Manhattan

Shortly after moving to Manhattan in 1983, I took a continuing education course given by Mr. Jellinek. The course covered the history of opera including three sessions devoted to Rossini, Verdi and Puccini. I been hooked on opera since then.

Please replay his programs.

Jan. 19 2010 06:54 AM
Fred Plotkin

George Jellinek set the gold standard for radio broadcasting and musical education. He understood that geniality, warmth and wearing his erudition lightly was the surest way to make even the most reluctant listener become a devoted music lover. He was also one of the kindest mentors to the likes of me, and I will always be grateful for his communications, comments and gentle corrections that were always about accuracy and not ego. Music always came first, but it was best when shared. And no one did that better than George. How nice that angels must be singing and he knows every note! Fred Plotkin www.fredplotkin.com

Jan. 19 2010 12:47 AM
Suzanne Martinucci from New York

The news of Mr. Jellinek's passing cast a real pall over today. But, like so many who have already posted, I'm grateful for all the music and singers I "met" through him through so many years. For example, I distinctly remember being in high school and listening to him do a season preview of a Met Opera season one night. It was the season the Met introduced their now-classic production of Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites." Mr. Jellinek set up the dramatic situation and then played the opera's final scene--in which the nuns march to the guillotine. Each time the guillotine comes down, the chorus of nuns is reduced by one voice. I listened to this excerpt, which I'd never heard before, in my darkened bedroom and was absolutely riveted. Later in life, I was privileged to meet Mr. Jellinek and get on his mailing list for the Vocal Scene. He was a wonderful man, and the reaction of so many people online shows just a sampling of how much he was loved.

Jan. 18 2010 11:10 PM
Marie Lamb from Syracuse, New York

I am, like everyone else, very sad to hear that George Jellinek has passed on. I've been a listener since I was a high school kid in the 1970s. I learned a lot from George, and it paid off when I was a voice student and, later, as a professional in radio. We ran his program on WCNY-FM for many years until it was no longer available, and to this day a lot of our listeners still miss him. George's combination of friendliness, professionalism, preparation and love of his subject will never be duplicated. Farewell to one of the great friends of singers and singing.

Jan. 18 2010 10:42 PM
Gloria Donen Sosin

The Vocal Scene -- we must have heard hundreds of his program -- they were wnderful 00 his knowedge abaout singers, their voices, thier performances always grabbed me00 especially hius love for German lieder, my favorite as well
We shall miss his lovely presence

Jan. 18 2010 10:24 PM
frances rosenthal from queens, ny

my favorite radio show besides the met live broadcast. He was a great teacher. He'd always answer letters i sent. For years, if it was thurs. near 10 pm, i'd rush back home to listen to his show. It was most enjoyable. He is missed.

Jan. 18 2010 09:14 PM
Jason Raphael from NYC

To paraphrase Rosalinde and Alfred, whose duet I first heard on a GJ holiday program: "Happy is he who never forgets."

Jan. 18 2010 09:07 PM
Ljubisa Radovic from State College, PA

A great loss... I used to tape many of his pioneering and legendary programs and drive all over the world listening to them over an over again (much to the 'consternation' of some of the company in the car). A most fitting and lasting tribute would be to make the entire collection readily available. Does such a project already exist?

Jan. 18 2010 08:45 PM
Kirsti & Rene Prochelle from Port Chester, NY

My husband and I loved his program, "The Vocal Scene". One of the reasons, beside the fact that George Jellinek made it so informative and enjoyable, was that I thought then and still think that there is too little vocal programming on WQXR. His program was something we looked forward to every Thursday. We still miss "The Vocal Scene."

Jan. 18 2010 08:39 PM
Thomas Bias from Sparta, New Jersey

When I first came to New York in 1971 I lived in a tiny railroad flat with no shower, telephone, or television. But I had a little portable radio, and listening to WQXR was what gave me pleasure after a hard day of work. Each Thursday I looked forward to hearing those bells and that happy tune from the Kodaly's Hari Janos Suite, because it meant that George Jellinek's "Vocal Scene" was on the air. I continued to enjoy his program for decades thereafter, and I loved hearing his insights into opera and classical song, two things I love passionately. My life is a lot more comfortable today, but I will never forget how George brought a smile to my lips each Thursday evening. Rest in peace, Mr. Jellinek. And thank you!

Jan. 18 2010 08:31 PM
Larry Stoler from Stamford, CT

I didn't listen to George Jellinek every week but when I did, I grew to appreciate many performers and great performances.

Even though 90 years is a good life span, the death of Mr. Jellinek is a loss to all of us who appreciate classical music and great broadcasters. He will be missed.

My condolences to his family.

Jan. 18 2010 08:23 PM
hope brown

I fell in love with opera because of George Jellinek, but when he retired I realized that I fell in love with George and loved opera to honor him. I hope that his wonderful Thursday evenings will be rebroadcast soon and forever.

Jan. 18 2010 08:22 PM
Richard Sonnenschein from New York

I was just a teenager—thinking I'd like to be a fabulous tenor, but for whom, ultimately, being a serviceable baritone would have to suffice—when George Jellinek began hosting WQXR's “The Vocal Scene.” I owe to him (as I do to the late Karl Haas and Lorenzo Alvary, and to Robert Sherman), undying gratitude for contributions to my education in music that have enriched my life, and the lives of so many more than I'll bet he ever imagined. Singers just didn't miss George Jellinek's broadcasts: they were master classes taught by Mr. Jellinek and his featured vocal artist, aired free of charge over the greatest radio station ever to bless the airwaves. I think I'll dust off my score of Schubert lieder, in the morning, and, perhaps, manage to sing a little of “An die Musik.” It'll be for you, Mr. Jellinek! Du hast “mich in eine bess're Welt entrueckt,” und “ich danke dir dafuer.”

To his family, his friends, and colleagues at WQXR, I offer my sympathy for the great loss you have suffered.

Jan. 18 2010 07:48 PM
Dan Shea from Middleton, WI

This is very sad news indeed, his books were warm and very readable (I esp. enjoyed the biogs of Mendelssohn and Callas, and his 2004 autobiography) and his radio show The Vocal Scene a favorite. What a thrill to be driving in the middle of nowhere and to come across that program to relieve the tedium!
The last time that happened to me was around Dubuque, March 2006, when on came George's mellifluous tones in a program comparing Jussi Björling and Fritz Wunderlich fittingly titled Ars Longa, Vita Brevis -- many here surely heard that program when it was first aired in 2001.

I like to think that the Jussi Björling Society was responsible for that program: we'd invited George to speak at our June 2001 program in St Peter MN but he declined on the grounds that he was too old to travel to the midwest (east and west coasts were ok)!
But he offered to put together this program and he gave us a CD of it to premiere at our conference. At the end of that program he cordially greets the members of the JB Society.

A year later JBS met in Manhattan and we invited him again, this time he and charming wife Hedy joined us and he conducted a memorable panel discussion headed by Regina Resnik, Robert & Marion Merrill, Licia Albanese, Lucine Amara, and Jussi's sons Anders and Lars.

His admirers need to read his memoir "My road to radio and The Vocal Scene" -- a delight. Also interesting was the article http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/11/29/041129fa_fact3
that marked his retirement from WQXR.
-Dan Shea

Jan. 18 2010 07:12 PM
Jason Raphael from NYC

How like Mr. Jellinek's wonderful, gentle sense of humor to select a non-vocal piece by a great chorale composer as the opening theme of our beloved Thursday night program.

I'll never forget my favorite reprise airing of "Sing High, Sing Low" and the heart-breaking interview with Jan Kiepura's widow."

Jan. 18 2010 07:09 PM
Dr. M. Singer from Passaic, NJ

I really don't enjoy opera, but I sure learned a lot from Mr. Jellinek. He taught me how to listen to vocal music and how to appreciate it - even if I don't love it.
It's a tremendous loss for all of us.

Jan. 18 2010 06:54 PM
Charles Nydorf

What a loss! The best tribute to George Jellinek would be to have more vocal music of all kinds, including longer works.

Jan. 18 2010 06:50 PM
Joe Pearce

I was fortunate to have met George Jellinek almost fifty years ago, and he had been a friend ever since. Even then, as I had grown into loving opera from the age of 12, I always knew his name well thanks to his various writing activities. He was also a founding member of the Vocal Record Collectors Society back in 1956 and remained a member ever after, giving many programs for us over the years, and I know I speak for every member of that group (some 200+) when I say how much he, his writings, and his VOCAL SCENE program meant to all of us. There will be no one of like stature to take his place, and since I know that all 1,800 or so of his programs have been preserved, I do hope that consideration may be given by WQXR to a future re-broadcast of at least the best of them.

Jan. 18 2010 06:33 PM
Tom Bartunek

No one in this business meant more to me. George was a dear man: a professional inspiration, superb colleague, and wonderful friend.

Jan. 18 2010 06:33 PM
Dennis Fuscaldo from Cliffside Park,NJ

I loved George Jellinek as much as I love any great Opera Singer. Dennis Fuscaldo

Jan. 18 2010 06:25 PM
the DA from N.J.

I enjoyed his knowledge for many years. I'm sure many listeners learned a great deal from him on the original WQXR.
My condolences to his family.

Jan. 18 2010 06:01 PM
Marianne Balshone from Palm Beach, FL.

As an ardent listener of WQXR and a close friend of George and his family, I always admired his wonderful commentary and speaking voice. I missed him dearly after his retirement, and will miss him even more now. My condolences to his family.

Jan. 18 2010 05:54 PM
george preston from Chicago, IL

Mr. Jellinek set a high standard for all of us in the business. He remains an inspiration.

Jan. 18 2010 05:51 PM
bill stammer from CT,

In this high-tech world, it is still possible to remember turning on the radio on Thursday evenings and merely listen to the erudite, warm, cultured, friendly, knowledgeable voice of George Jellinek and The Vocal Scene. In introducing one program with an ancient, scathed 1904 recording of “ a young tenor, Enrico Caruso”, George said “he would not apologize for the sound, as it also had the composer accompanying on the piano.” You got not only the music, but the unequivocal endorsement of the presenter. For me, it was Thursday’s I would never miss. George, you were special.

Jan. 18 2010 05:18 PM


Jan. 18 2010 04:52 PM
Cori Ellison from New York, NY

I grew up listening to The Vocal Scene, and George Jellinek became as much a hero to me as the great singers whose recordings he shared with us. With such a charming and ardent guide to vocal music, who could resist following?

Later on, when my life in the classical music world began, I was thrilled and privileged to meet and work with Mr. Jellinek. He was the most generous of colleagues, the classiest of gentlemen, the most inspiring of role models: a man who truly and obviously loved classical music, those who make it, those who listen to it, and last but not least, his devoted wide Hedy.

We will miss him greatly, but we will at least have his unforgettable broadcasts, which we hope that WQXR will continue to make available.

Jan. 18 2010 04:46 PM

A great Hungarian.

Jan. 18 2010 04:40 PM
Daniel James Shigo from nyc

What a wonderful man! I was honored to meet him at the Centennial gala for The New York Singing Teachers Association in 2006. Mr. Jellinek gave an eloquent toast to singers past and present as well as the voice teachers who helped them be great singers.

His presence will be sorely missed! And I sincerely hope that WQXR will rebroadcast The Vocal Scene for new listeners. There is nothing else quite like it.


Jan. 18 2010 04:21 PM

He always made me laugh when working with him. He was such a special man and he will be missed.

Jan. 18 2010 03:59 PM
Emily B. Curtis from Hoboken, NJ

My husband and I tried not to miss any of Mr. Jellinck's program "The Vocal Scene" and even took cassettes of them with us on our visits to Rio de Janeiro.
We have lost a very fine gentleman.

Jan. 18 2010 03:57 PM
Letetia from New Rochelle, New York

I looked forward to Thursday evenings with great pleasure for many, many years, just to hear George Jellinek and his wonderful and enlightening comments on opera and the wonderful performers. Still miss those Thursday eveing with Mr. Jellinek.

Jan. 18 2010 03:31 PM
Annamaria Verde and SergioStefani from New York City

We had the privilege of working for a short time with George Jellinek as we produced the video 'Bergonzi Celebrates Gigli'....but we remained friends for a long time... a charming and knowledgeable individual. He can never be replaced..only remembered with fondness and gratitude for what he imparted to all who listened to him. Our condolences to Hedy and the family. Annamaria and Sergio Stefani.

Jan. 18 2010 03:16 PM
SusanW from NYC

What a grand man! I've listened to his program for many, many years and I loved hearing all his wonderful stories. He infused his listeners with a sense of adventure and a desire to follow him along whatever musical trail he led us on. Farewell and RIP to a beautiful person and a beloved radio friend...we shall all miss you greatly, George.

Jan. 18 2010 03:10 PM

Whilst waiting in my doctor's office, I heard a voice (he was speaking to his wife) that I truly recognized. I never saw a picture of Mr. Jellinek, but knew the voice immediately. He was a courtly gentlemen who had a vast musical knowledge, with a wonderful radio presence that will be sorely missed.

Jan. 18 2010 03:07 PM
Richard Levine from New Jersey

I listened to his program for many years. He exuded knowledge and excellence. Obviously a total expert in the field of opera and singers of opera he will be missed but also very much remembered.

Jan. 18 2010 02:29 PM
Joanne Naccarato from Dumont, New Jersey

Music 101 in college introduced me to classical music. When I found WQXR on the radio that distinctive voice stood out for me and will ring in my ears forever! His knowledge of operas and those who sang them was unbelievable!

Jan. 18 2010 02:15 PM
Kathy Boyce from New Hampshire

I used to listen to The Vocal Scene when I was in NYC, and later on my computer at home, and I have missed those programs. Mr Jellinek's knowledge of opera and vocal performance was phenomenal, and we are all enriched by his sharing with us.

It would be wonderful to hear some of those wonderful programs again. My thoughts go to his family and friends.

Jan. 18 2010 02:11 PM
Dan Rosenbaum from new york city

I'll never forget the day I found out George was ending "The Vocal Scene," and realized that I'd been listening to it faithfully for the 30+ years it had been on the radio! My appreciation of opera was forever influenced by George's lucid commentary, astute observations and respect for the art of great singing. Although I only had one e-mail exchange with him, it was as warm and friendly as every one of his shows. We are eternally grateful for him. My sympathies to the Jellinek family.

Jan. 18 2010 02:08 PM

The Paley Center for Media only had a few recordings of The Vocal Scene in their radio collections when I was looking for them earlier this year, and not in the best condition. Oh, how I would love to hear more of them again! I hope that there are copies of these programs somewhere that can be restored and re-broadcast or distributed in some way!!

Jan. 18 2010 02:02 PM
Harold from Hoboken, NJ

I will miss his voice and educated commentary. His voice, along with notable others such at Milton Cross, will always be in my mind. My condolences to his family. He was a great man.

Jan. 18 2010 02:02 PM
Jeff Haller from Miami, Florida

People like George Jellinek do not die. Because of him many of us have had our love of music shaped. He forced us to create realitic values. I played his program about verismo opera over and over again. It allowed me to get a sample of something that I knew nothing about. There was such command in his voice; he IS the model of what a great lecturer should be. Thank you, George. I can't say I will miss you because you are always going to be with me. You made sure of that.

Jan. 18 2010 02:01 PM
Barry Lenson from Millburn, New Jersey

After listening to Mr. Jellinek for many years, I had the special privilege of developing a book idea with him. The book, which was to have been a compendium of his interviews with singers, was never published. But my work with him gave me the opportunity to meet him at WQXR, where with evident joy and pride, he introduced me to his beautiful wife. Although I did not spend enough time working with him, he was truly one of the great men who taught me lessons that I have carried with me ever since. My best wishes to his family in this difficult time, with thanks for sharing Mr. Jellinek with the world.

Jan. 18 2010 02:00 PM
Tom Hunter from Brighton Beach, New York City

I first heard George Gellineck in the early 1980s when I attended Iowa State University in Ames Iowa. The Vocal Scene really caught my ear and made me feel I knew of a jewel on WOI-FM. It seeded a life long love of opera, including a turn on stage in Tosca, later in life.

Jan. 18 2010 01:57 PM
vivian reiss from toronto, canada

In his voice will live on the enriching culture of my parents generation, the
Hungarians who brought to the U.S.post W.W.2 their unique way of hearing the world. Thank you George. My condolences to his wife Hedy and daughter, Nancy

Jan. 18 2010 01:51 PM
Paul Pocaro from United States

George wrote the libretto to the Zador opera "The Scarlet Mill" which I performed, as one of the devils, at its premier at Brooklyn College in 1968. George was always there during rehersals. He always was generous to his Hungarian musical friends.

Jan. 18 2010 01:30 PM
Gregg C Levine from Astoria. NY

I grew up with the station.
I listened to his presentations many times. I also recall reading his bio on the original website several times as well.

I also am saddened by his passing. I believe I did hear Jeff's tribute, but Midge's statement is what prompted me to post this and to call my father who introduced me to WQXR.

Jan. 18 2010 01:11 PM
Gail Watkins from Rye Brook, NY

George was a very special man and my friend. For 13 years he visited my third grade classroom and educated my students on music using a different theme each year. The children sat spellbound as did their parents. He had a tremendous impact in promoting cultural arts. It was not just to his radio audiences but to children as well. The many dinners my husband and I shared with the Jellineks are treasured memories. We feel so lucky that George was a part of our lives.

Jan. 18 2010 01:11 PM
Ron Reiss from New York

I have fond memories not only of his marvelous broadcasts of the "Vocal Scene", but of visits to the study in his home that contained a virtual treasure trove of nearly every operatic recording.
My heartfelt condolences to his wife Hedy and his daughter Nancy and children. His unique and distinctive voice will be missed!

Jan. 18 2010 01:05 PM
Ray Watkins from Rye Brook, NY

George and his surviving wife Hedy are dear friends for many years. We will miss him terribly. His brilliant public personna was, to us, overshadowed by his private compassionate gentle nature. His knowledge of the wonderful world of opera and classical music coupled to his unique personal contact with so many of the luminaries of that world for so many years will never be seen again.

Jan. 18 2010 12:56 PM
hadler from Brooklyn,New York

The sensitive commentary about George Jellinek's immortal
presence....both WQXR and his tireless rapport with his listeners,deserves a "grammy" par excellence.

"My road to radio and the vocal scene"
Memior of an opera commentator

Jan. 18 2010 12:50 PM
Rudro De from Bronx, NYC

A great loss of our generation. The Vocal Scene is one of the best programs ever aired on WQXR. I wrote Mr. Jellinek a few times to thank him for the program and he personally replied back every time. Please replay The Vocal Scene programs on WQXR. They cannot be replicated. Thank you in advance.

Jan. 18 2010 11:41 AM
Paul Cohen from NYC

I was dis-heartened to hear the sad news; I have been trying to get information on funeral arrangements but no luck; Does anyone know ???

Jan. 18 2010 11:35 AM
Lisa from New Jersey

I shalll miss the dear voice I listended to for many years.

Jan. 18 2010 11:24 AM
Henry Watkin from New York, NY

Mr. Jellinek's knowledge of music and the world of music was matched only by his charm and deep humanity. His radio programs, though spell-binding, were no mere entertainment, but an education in art and life. As Jeff Spurgeon so rightly said, the world is much the poorer for his loss.

Jan. 18 2010 11:21 AM
Jay Vos from Burlington, VT

R.I.P. George Jellinek
His contributions to our listening pleasure as well as informing us about opera and opera singers are what have made WQXR an exemplary station in NYC and our nation! Prayers ascending!

Jan. 18 2010 10:42 AM
Nancy Wilken from New York

I was stunned to learn of George's death this morning. He was a kind and generous person who took me under his wing so to speak via 15 years of correspone--my musical education and support. His interviews at The George London Foundation, the Met Guild lectures as well as The Vocal Scene
are indelible in mindset (Are any of them available as I taped many of them? I am deeply at a loss and feel a tremendous emptiness).

Jan. 18 2010 10:37 AM
Jack Mazelis

It would be wonderful if there was a tribute program to George Jellinek and perhaps some excerpts from old programs of The Vocal Scene.

Jan. 18 2010 10:25 AM
hadler from Brooklyn New York

From Southern California radio KUSC, 1973...Ucla, First Hearing (Mr. Downs's son,NY Times music commentator)

WQXR 1986- Vocal Scene to his retirement in Hastings on the Hudson.. his interviews with legends.......his life in Budapest, his father's restaurant...A legend himself..

Jan. 18 2010 10:05 AM
karl davis

He was a wonderful person. I had the opportunity to (Jeff Spurgeon is now speaking of him). meet him for lunch several times. I wrote fan mail as a passionate opera lover and ended up being invited to WQXR. He was so kind and sociable I called him "Uncle George" and he remained my "Unc". He mailed Vocal Scene schedules to me and wrote remarks to "Nephew". I see no opera or listen to recordings without his comments in my thoughts. I treasured my wonderful "Uncle".

Jan. 18 2010 10:00 AM
Rita Calderon from Manhattan

George Jellinek was a household name in my family; we enjoyed and learned from him. His passing is a great loss to the music world. Thanks to Jeff Spurgeon for the lovely tribute to him this morning.

Jan. 18 2010 09:55 AM
Felix from New York, NY

George shared with his audience his love, insight and knowledge on classical music and opera. Although George’s presence will be missed but his voice will linger through re-broadcast of his programs. Keep it going on for us WQXR.

Jan. 18 2010 09:51 AM
Nuala Stack

Mr. Jellinek was a source of great insights into the world of the vocal scene. I spent many a night with him. The music world lost a wonderful person. I shall miss his precense on earth, but his spirit lives on.

Jan. 18 2010 09:29 AM
Sidney Goldman from Baldwin, NY

I tried to send Jeff Spurgeon an Email, but it was returned to me by the Postmaster. Then I used another Email address and forwarded that message to Jeff.

Now I can also tell WQXR how I felt when I heard the news from Jeff this morning.

George Jellinek was so unique in the way he composed "The Vocal Scene".

Archival programs, if available would be most welcome to be heard again, on the computer or on WQXR again.

Jan. 18 2010 07:52 AM

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